How Many Of Your Microwave’s Buttons Do You Really Use?
Maybe it's time for a DIY rethink: Nathan Broadbent's "Raspberry Picrowave" accepts voice commands, emits custom sounds, can cook food via a product barcode scan, and can be controlled via a browser or mobile app.
By combining a standard microwave with an Arduino Nano microcontroller, a Raspberry Pi microcomputer, and other hardware, developer Nathan Broadbent was able to create a customized appliance that requires almost no tactile input to work. His “Raspberry Picrowave” can, among other things, accept commands via the owner’s voice or through a browser or mobile app, and even produce sound effects that go beyond the typical microwave beep. However, one of its most impressive skills is the ability to cook a product using instructions collected from a scan of the product’s barcode and located in an online database that Broadbent built himself. A video demonstration even shows how products can be added to the database.
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What’s the Big Idea?
Writer Sebastian Anthony notes that microwave interfaces have always been confusing, and cites his own home appliance as an example: “My microwave has more than 30 buttons, and yet once I (eventually) found the ‘immediately start cooking for one minute’ button, it’s the only one I use.” The hacking process is certainly elaborate, but aspiring DIYers can visit Broadbent’s site to get open-source schematics and software.